Strong Art

Ann Strong,   M.F.Phys., I.T.E.C.

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The Brigittoise Gallery in Brittany

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I hope you will like my gallery of paintings, short videos and articles.

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The plaited reed cross of St. Bridget

Wicker Cross

The wicker cross, Celtic symbol of St Bridget

Portrait of St. Bridget

St. Bridget

Portrait of St Bridget of Kildare, patron saint of Ireland, 5th Century.

In statuary and heraldry, similar to the association between St. Patrick and the shamrock, Ste. Brigid is often depicted holding a cross made of plaited rushes, a crozier of the sort used by abbots, and a lamp of learning and wisdom, because lamps and fire were regarded sacred to CELTS and DRUIDS.   According to tradition a new reed cross is made each feast day of Ste. Brigid and the old one is burned to keep fire from the house - which was a major threat in the olden days when houses had thatch and wooden roofs.

The celtic Brigid was not only venerated in Ireland but in numerous countries across Western Europe.   A relic of hers can be found in a chapel near Charleroi (Belgium) as well as her coat in the cathedral at Bruges.   Traces can be found in particular in Denmark, Northern Italy and Switzerland.

Ste. Brigid is one of the few saints who stands on the boundary between pagan mythology, Druidism and Christian spirituality.   She is one of Ireland’s patron saints along with St. Patrick and St. Columbus and was born at Faughart near Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland around 451 - 525 AD.

Plant motifs associated with Ste. Brigit include the white Lilium Candidum, known since mediaeval times as the Madonna Lily.   Also, the Winflower called the Brigid anemone since the early 19th century.   Cill Dara (Kildare) the church of the oak is associated with a tree sacred to the Druids.   Her colour white was worn by the Kildare United Irishmen during the 1798 rebellion and is now worn by Kildare Sports Teams.

See article below on Ste Brigitte.

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Federer and Nadal

Federer and Nadal

Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal, oil pastel, 2011

Iron Forge


Apollo in Vulcan’s cave, acrylic

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens, charcoal

Blue Duck

Blue Duck

Blue Duck, crayon oil pastel

Salvador Dali

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John Atkinson Grimshaw

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In Praise of Animals

love animals
dog and lamb lamb and dog
dog and dolphin cat and dog
dog and dolphin cat and dog

Rome Visit

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Spectacular photos of the world

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Jolies plumes, belles ailes

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A supreme South American cataract tucked away in thick rain forest at the point where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. The system consists of no fewer than 275 separate falls along a mile and a half of the Iguaçù river. Their collective size and power makes them breathtaking, and the way they impress themselves upon the viewer in a vast, curving arc, are unlike any other falls.


 Forthcoming Film - "Silver and Lead

My son Simon Strong is the author of "Whitewash: Pablo Escobar and the Cocaine Wars" published in 1995; the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, king of the Medallion Cartel in Colombia, who was one of the richest and most intriguing villains of all time.    Escobar was a wanted man; wanted as much by his former partners-in-crime as by the US and Colombian governments.   The film, "SILVER OR LEAD", based on his second tome "Whitewash" is being produced in Hollywood by Relativity Media.

Simon Strong is also author of "Shining Path", 'The world’s most revolutionary force in Peru' published in 1991.

Simon is the President and Founder of Tenacitas International, based in Miami.



A Brief Synopsis

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has given charitable status to Druidism and is now recognised as an official religion in Britain for the first time thousands of years after its adherents first worshipped in the country. It grants the ancient Celtic religion equal status to more mainstream religions.    The commission accepts that Druids worship nature, in particular the sun and the earth, but also believe in the spirits of places such as mountains and rivers, as well as »divine guides« such as Brighid and Bran.    Druidism is believed to qualify as a charity since its followers are keen to conserve Britain’s heritage and environment.   

In Brittany, Saint-Denis in St. Omer is the best known of over thirty church and chapel dedications to St Brigid.    Some accounts of her life suggest that Brigid’s mother was in fact Portuguese, kidnapped by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland to work as a slave in much the same way as St Patrick.    Her father is thought to have been a pagan chieftain.   

Our Celtic Brigid founded the first abbey of mixed Christian beliefs and pagan cults at Kildare in Ireland and continued to maintain the pagan Sacred Fire which became a symbol of the Resurrection and Spirit of Christ; this perpetual flame of Brigid was extinguished at Kildare in Ireland in 1220 by order of the Bishop of Dublin.    It was relit in 1993, kept alive, then transported to Glastonbury in Somerset near Avalon in 2004.   

Brigid travelled all over Brittany spreading the word of Christ giving sacraments to male priests and participated in their training and her small oratory at Cill-Dara (Kildare) in Ireland became a centre of religion and learning, developing into a cathedral city.   

Conflicts developed between the Irish Brigid and the Vatican for not applying the codes of the Roman Church in evangelical matters as she did not differentiate between men and women for the monastic life; a woman attained the priesthood just as did a man which conforms to the orthodox Celtic church but not the Roman Church.   

Consequently, the 11th century orthodox Celtic church founded by the Irish Brigit was taken over by the Roman Catholic Church Authority and Guardianship.    They replaced her with a Swedish princess naming her Ste. Brigitte during the 14th century at the time of the Catholic revival although she had nothing to do with the life of the Bretons!

In 1913 a bronze head was discovered in Finistère measuring 23 cm. dating from the 1st century before Christ.    After the First World War the rest of the female bronze statue was discovered measuring 70 cm. but in a poor state.    This statue is now known in the region as «The Goddess of Menez Hom» and she is preserved in the Bretagne Museum at Rennes.    Religious historians believe there is a parallel between Athena Minerva, universal goddess of the Celts and Brigitte of the Irish texts of the late Middle Ages.   

The spelling of Brigitte varies because during the early part of the 1st millennium the names of gods, saints and men were often passed down by oral tradition, and passages were translated from several languages often with parts missing - hence Brigitte occurs either as Brigit, Brigid, Berhed, Berc'hed, Brida or Birgit.   

Brigid died at Kildare around 525 AD. and was interred at the right of the High Altar at Kildare Cathedral with a costly tomb erected over her.    Over the years her shrine became an object of veneration for pilgrims especially on her Feast Day, February 1st.    About the year 878 AD., owing to Scandinavian raids, Brigid’s relics were taken to Downpatrick, in Southern Ireland, where they were interred in the same tomb as St Patrick and St Columbus of Iona.   

Verses of hymns (seen below), sung in the Diocese of St Brieuc on the Celtic Feast Day of Brigit on February 1st have helped to perpetuate Brigit’s memory and the strict rules by which she lived.    The Feast Day of the Purification and the Candlemass combine.    This would put Brigid on a par with Mary (Marie), Patron Saint of Households, whose Feast Day follows on the 2nd of February.    Brigid is, in fact, known as the «Marie of the Gael».   

«And now, Abbess of Kildare,
You tell them, without waiting
The joyful journey of obedience
of chastity and poverty
for the body, work according to the needs
for the soul, praise to God,
This the rule of Kildare
Arms outstretched in prayer
Long prayers without care
In a cold Winter night
Your penance is not light.»

Ann Strong, October, 2014


The Druids’ Prayer

Oracle of the day

Church at Mont St Michel.

Mont St Michel Windows

Oracle of Tschu Li

’tis not to come.
If it be not to come
It will be now.
If it be not now
Yet it will come.
The Readiness is all.
(William Shakespeare)

What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
(William Shakespeare)


On the far reef the breakers
Recoil in shattered foam
Yet still the sea behind them
Urges its forces home ;

Its chant of triumph surges
Through all the thunderous din
The wave may break in failure
But the tide is sure to win

O mighty sea ! Thy message
In clinging spray is cast.
Within God’s plan of progress
It matters not at last
How wide the shores of evil
How strong the reefs of sin
The wave may be defeated
But the tide is sure to win !



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